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Author Topic: Catholic vs. Orthodox view of original/ansestoral sin  (Read 5215 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 06, 2010, 07:50:22 AM »

Christ is Risen!
     I know the teachings of the two churches differ on this matter (the RC teaching on original sin was the main thing that lead me to Orthodoxy) but just how much do the two churches differ on this matter? And when/where/with whom did this diffrence in opinion start?


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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2010, 06:55:41 AM »

   I think the emphasis on humans being born with legal guilt is more western.   Augustine seems to imply this, but I doubt it originated with him and wasn't unique to him either.   In short, we're born not only corrupt, but guilty.  It's something I think modern Roman Catholics and Protestants emphasize less. 
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2010, 07:19:13 AM »

If I am remembering correctly (and I'm flipping through the book trying to refresh my memory), in his book Development of Chrisitan Doctrine, Jaroslav Pelikan argued that the roots of St. Augustine's view of original sin can be seen in St. Cyprian, and also to a lesser extent in Tertullian. This doesn't necessarily mean that St. Cyprian or Tertullian taught original sin, of course, only that St. Augustine might have seen something in their words which he used in formulating his thoughts on original sin.
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2010, 09:13:35 PM »

The difference, as far as I understand, is primarily on the issue of justice. In the CCC, Rome affirms that original sin constitutes, for every human, not only the loss of original holiness, but also the loss of original justice. This would seem to imply that each human being is born "implicated" for the sin of Adam and thus technically morally guilty, because of "being in Adam". However, Eastern Christians don't really follow this line of thinking, and attribute the guilt only to Adam, and thus refraining from speaking of all humans having lost original justice, while affirming that all have lost original holiness (more an issue of sanctity rather than justice).

However, there is an even more simple way that it could be understood, which is significant because many Romanists today are avoiding speaking of original sin as an issue of justice, yet maintain the more neutral tradition of original sinning being a moral or spiritual "stain". This introduces another seeming difference between the Western and Eastern doctrines which is a more simple and fundamental matter of perspective: the West tends to view the inherent, common, and necessary state of the Fall as a stain, mark, or blemish, whereas the East tends to regard it only as a loss, lack, or corruption. Avoiding the terminology of stain, we rather speak primarily of loss of perfect communion with God, loss of sanctifying grace, loss of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, etc. The two Roman distinctives of justice and stain are more of a matter that comes into play with personal sins, rather than with ancestral sin.

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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2010, 08:01:15 PM »

http://preachersinstitute.com/2010/04/ancestral-sin-versus-original-sin-by-fr-anthony-hughes/
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2010, 08:16:47 PM »


That was an excellent essay.
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2010, 09:32:51 AM »

THIS WAS TRANSFERRED FROM THE CONVERT ISSUES FORUM TO THE ORTHODOX - CATHOLIC DISCUSSION FORUM AS THE APPROPRIATE PLACE TO FULLY DISCUSS THIS TOPIC.

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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2010, 12:16:34 PM »



 Grin  I guess this is what ya call nuance, eh?..... laugh

If I am remembering correctly (and I'm flipping through the book trying to refresh my memory), in his book Development of Chrisitan Doctrine, Jaroslav Pelikan argued that the roots of St. Augustine's view of original sin can be seen in St. Cyprian, and also to a lesser extent in Tertullian. This doesn't necessarily mean that St. Cyprian or Tertullian taught original sin, of course, only that St. Augustine might have seen something in their words which he used in formulating his thoughts on original sin.
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2010, 12:23:56 PM »

Death...as in physical death or is it also possible to speak of spiritual death?

M.


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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2010, 03:27:30 PM »


I don't know that I can answer for him, but generally we speak of it as death in a general sense, not limited to physicality.
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2010, 06:12:41 PM »


I don't know that I can answer for him, but generally we speak of it as death in a general sense, not limited to physicality.

Well that helps because the "guilt" that the Catholic Church references with regard to original sin, that stain of original sin, is actually the direct consequence of that sin which is spiritual death in the first instance...followed then by the secondary consequence of physical suffering and death.

So I generally find myself at a loss when trying to figure out where this great divide is...based largely upon the erroneous attribution of some kind of teaching that includes personal sin guilt.

Remembering, of course, that the formal teaching of the Church is not always reflective of everything any one of the major Fathers and Doctors of the Church says...or writes...we should be able to get some of this straightened out fairly easily.

I do recognize that we've been laboring under certain presumptions for a long time so I don't expect things to change over night.

But it seems to me with the communication capabilities of the average person, some of our misunderstandings should diminish in proportion to the ability to get the message out.

M.
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2010, 06:29:01 PM »


I don't know that I can answer for him, but generally we speak of it as death in a general sense, not limited to physicality.

Well that helps because the "guilt" that the Catholic Church references with regard to original sin, that stain of original sin, is actually the direct consequence of that sin which is spiritual death in the first instance...followed then by the secondary consequence of physical suffering and death.

So I generally find myself at a loss when trying to figure out where this great divide is...based largely upon the erroneous attribution of some kind of teaching that includes personal sin guilt.

Remembering, of course, that the formal teaching of the Church is not always reflective of everything any one of the major Fathers and Doctors of the Church says...or writes...we should be able to get some of this straightened out fairly easily.

I do recognize that we've been laboring under certain presumptions for a long time so I don't expect things to change over night.

But it seems to me with the communication capabilities of the average person, some of our misunderstandings should diminish in proportion to the ability to get the message out.

M.

The difference is that we do not believe that any of these common concepts of guilt, implication, or stain (the latter two both being taught in the CCC) are consequences of the spiritual death, at least not inherent consequences such that one is born with them. Obviously the spiritual death almost universally leads humans to personal sin, which is the first point that any sort of stain or guilt is taken on.
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2010, 06:35:51 PM »

Basically, doesn't Orthodox believe we inherit the Consequences of the original sin but not the guilt? and the RCC believe we receive both?
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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2010, 06:43:58 PM »

Basically, doesn't Orthodox believe we inherit the Consequences of the original sin but not the guilt? and the RCC believe we receive both?

It's not that simple. I wouldn't characterize either position exactly that way. Basically the Eastern position is that humanity collectively lost original holiness as a result of Adam's first sin, and we are all born lacking original holiness and the corruptions that follow it, whereas the Westerners will go somewhat further and say that we are collectively "implicated in" Adam's sin because we were all "in Adam".
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« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2010, 07:40:50 PM »


I don't know that I can answer for him, but generally we speak of it as death in a general sense, not limited to physicality.

Well that helps because the "guilt" that the Catholic Church references with regard to original sin, that stain of original sin, is actually the direct consequence of that sin which is spiritual death in the first instance...followed then by the secondary consequence of physical suffering and death.

So I generally find myself at a loss when trying to figure out where this great divide is...based largely upon the erroneous attribution of some kind of teaching that includes personal sin guilt.

Remembering, of course, that the formal teaching of the Church is not always reflective of everything any one of the major Fathers and Doctors of the Church says...or writes...we should be able to get some of this straightened out fairly easily.

I do recognize that we've been laboring under certain presumptions for a long time so I don't expect things to change over night.

But it seems to me with the communication capabilities of the average person, some of our misunderstandings should diminish in proportion to the ability to get the message out.

M.

The difference is that we do not believe that any of these common concepts of guilt, implication, or stain (the latter two both being taught in the CCC) are consequences of the spiritual death, at least not inherent consequences such that one is born with them. Obviously the spiritual death almost universally leads humans to personal sin, which is the first point that any sort of stain or guilt is taken on.

The crux of it is right here.  You and all other modern day Orthodox, or most of them, or very very many of them, look at the language of the Catholic Church and you presume that the language of guilt, implication or stain is common.  It is not.  It is a theological language that, in its original Latin, has quite clear meaning within the constructs of the formal teaching of the Catholic Church.  In fact the language of "stain" and "blemish" is ancient language given to us from the time of the early fathers.

Orthodoxy also has a theological language that is employed and you expect that when you say THIS means THAT the person that you are speaking to accepts what you say as true.

That does not happen when the average Orthodox person steps up to tell me what the Catholic Church teaches.

Because I am Catholic, if I protest, then I am being [fill in the blank with all kinds of negative presumptions.]  I am even expected to PROVE to a group of strangers who don't give a hoot about me or they'd ask...what liturgical books I use to pray.  Isn't that something?   I think that is truly indicative of the Orthodox mindset, frankly and it is a shame because I always come into these situations hoping for something better than the last time.

I think that is really bad form, to expect from others that which you refuse to give, don't you?

Mary
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« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2010, 07:45:00 PM »

Basically, doesn't Orthodox believe we inherit the Consequences of the original sin but not the guilt? and the RCC believe we receive both?

It's not that simple. I wouldn't characterize either position exactly that way. Basically the Eastern position is that humanity collectively lost original holiness as a result of Adam's first sin, and we are all born lacking original holiness and the corruptions that follow it, whereas the Westerners will go somewhat further and say that we are collectively "implicated in" Adam's sin because we were all "in Adam".

This is a distinction without a difference actually, but I expect we could talk about it in those terms as long as one understands the implication, blemish or stain to BE the loss of original sanctification or justice.
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« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2010, 07:59:11 PM »


I don't know that I can answer for him, but generally we speak of it as death in a general sense, not limited to physicality.

Well that helps because the "guilt" that the Catholic Church references with regard to original sin, that stain of original sin, is actually the direct consequence of that sin which is spiritual death in the first instance...followed then by the secondary consequence of physical suffering and death.

So I generally find myself at a loss when trying to figure out where this great divide is...based largely upon the erroneous attribution of some kind of teaching that includes personal sin guilt.

Remembering, of course, that the formal teaching of the Church is not always reflective of everything any one of the major Fathers and Doctors of the Church says...or writes...we should be able to get some of this straightened out fairly easily.

I do recognize that we've been laboring under certain presumptions for a long time so I don't expect things to change over night.

But it seems to me with the communication capabilities of the average person, some of our misunderstandings should diminish in proportion to the ability to get the message out.

M.

The difference is that we do not believe that any of these common concepts of guilt, implication, or stain (the latter two both being taught in the CCC) are consequences of the spiritual death, at least not inherent consequences such that one is born with them. Obviously the spiritual death almost universally leads humans to personal sin, which is the first point that any sort of stain or guilt is taken on.

The crux of it is right here.  You and all other modern day Orthodox, or most of them, or very very many of them, look at the language of the Catholic Church and you presume that the language of guilt, implication or stain is common.  It is not.  It is a theological language that, in its original Latin, has quite clear meaning within the constructs of the formal teaching of the Catholic Church.  In fact the language of "stain" and "blemish" is ancient language given to us from the time of the early fathers.

Orthodoxy also has a theological language that is employed and you expect that when you say THIS means THAT the person that you are speaking to accepts what you say as true.

That does not happen when the average Orthodox person steps up to tell me what the Catholic Church teaches.

Because I am Catholic, if I protest, then I am being [fill in the blank with all kinds of negative presumptions.]  I am even expected to PROVE to a group of strangers who don't give a hoot about me or they'd ask...what liturgical books I use to pray.  Isn't that something?   I think that is truly indicative of the Orthodox mindset, frankly and it is a shame because I always come into these situations hoping for something better than the last time.

I think that is really bad form, to expect from others that which you refuse to give, don't you?

Mary

Huh? I don't understand what you're saying. You have a sort of overly complicated and long-winded way of writing. Could you try writing more succinctly?
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« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2010, 07:59:53 PM »

Basically, doesn't Orthodox believe we inherit the Consequences of the original sin but not the guilt? and the RCC believe we receive both?

It's not that simple. I wouldn't characterize either position exactly that way. Basically the Eastern position is that humanity collectively lost original holiness as a result of Adam's first sin, and we are all born lacking original holiness and the corruptions that follow it, whereas the Westerners will go somewhat further and say that we are collectively "implicated in" Adam's sin because we were all "in Adam".

This is a distinction without a difference actually, but I expect we could talk about it in those terms as long as one understands the implication, blemish or stain to BE the loss of original sanctification or justice.

Did I say anything about a loss of justice? I rarely hear of Eastern writings speaking of ancestral sin involving a loss of original justice instead of simply a loss of original holiness.
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« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2010, 08:06:40 PM »

Basically, doesn't Orthodox believe we inherit the Consequences of the original sin but not the guilt? and the RCC believe we receive both?

It's not that simple. I wouldn't characterize either position exactly that way. Basically the Eastern position is that humanity collectively lost original holiness as a result of Adam's first sin, and we are all born lacking original holiness and the corruptions that follow it, whereas the Westerners will go somewhat further and say that we are collectively "implicated in" Adam's sin because we were all "in Adam".

This is a distinction without a difference actually, but I expect we could talk about it in those terms as long as one understands the implication, blemish or stain to BE the loss of original sanctification or justice.

Did I say anything about a loss of justice? I rarely hear of Eastern writings speaking of ancestral sin involving a loss of original justice instead of simply a loss of original holiness.

Quite.

Original justice IS original holiness IS original sanctification

M.
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« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2010, 08:14:41 PM »

Basically, doesn't Orthodox believe we inherit the Consequences of the original sin but not the guilt? and the RCC believe we receive both?

It's not that simple. I wouldn't characterize either position exactly that way. Basically the Eastern position is that humanity collectively lost original holiness as a result of Adam's first sin, and we are all born lacking original holiness and the corruptions that follow it, whereas the Westerners will go somewhat further and say that we are collectively "implicated in" Adam's sin because we were all "in Adam".

This is a distinction without a difference actually, but I expect we could talk about it in those terms as long as one understands the implication, blemish or stain to BE the loss of original sanctification or justice.

Did I say anything about a loss of justice? I rarely hear of Eastern writings speaking of ancestral sin involving a loss of original justice instead of simply a loss of original holiness.

Quite.

Original justice IS original holiness IS original sanctification

M.

If justification and sanctification are two distinct issues, then justice and holiness are two distinct issues, and thus original justice and original holiness are two distinct, while perhaps overlapping and connected, realities.
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« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2010, 08:24:19 PM »

Basically, doesn't Orthodox believe we inherit the Consequences of the original sin but not the guilt? and the RCC believe we receive both?

It's not that simple. I wouldn't characterize either position exactly that way. Basically the Eastern position is that humanity collectively lost original holiness as a result of Adam's first sin, and we are all born lacking original holiness and the corruptions that follow it, whereas the Westerners will go somewhat further and say that we are collectively "implicated in" Adam's sin because we were all "in Adam".

This is a distinction without a difference actually, but I expect we could talk about it in those terms as long as one understands the implication, blemish or stain to BE the loss of original sanctification or justice.

Did I say anything about a loss of justice? I rarely hear of Eastern writings speaking of ancestral sin involving a loss of original justice instead of simply a loss of original holiness.

Quite.

Original justice IS original holiness IS original sanctification

M.

If justification and sanctification are two distinct issues, then justice and holiness are two distinct issues, and thus original justice and original holiness are two distinct, while perhaps overlapping and connected, realities.

I am telling you that they are NOT separate in Catholic teaching.  If you would like to separate them, I don't mind at all.  But please do not attribute that to Catholic teaching...ok?

M.
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« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2010, 11:15:48 PM »

Quote

If justification and sanctification are two distinct issues, then justice and holiness are two distinct issues, and thus original justice and original holiness are two distinct, while perhaps overlapping and connected, realities.

I have already presented at some length my understanding of the Catholic position on original sin over at the Immaculate Conception thread, but let me just observe that from a Catholic viewpoint, justification and sanctification are NOT two distinct issues.  That is a Protestant way of looking at things.  One might distinguish justification and sanctification notionally but not in reality.  This is why Catholics can actually speak of an increase of justification, to the horror of all advocates of imputational righteousness.  In ecumenical dialogue with Protestants Catholic theologians will often often distinguish between justification and sanctification, but they do so simply for purposes of clarification, by way of reflection on different facets of the mystery of salvation; they do not intend a real and objective difference.  For Catholics, to be justified in Christ is to be simultaneously accepted and transformed; to be justified is to be made holy.  Justification and sanctification are inseparable and ultimately identical. 

As to how Catholics have traditionally understood original sin since the Council of Trent, I refer you to the Catholic Encyclopedia article on original sin.  Read this article carefully and you will discover that Catholics understand original sin as the privation of sanctifying grace.  Or as Cardinal Newman explained to the Anglican Edward Pusey:  "We, with the Fathers, think of it as something negative, Protestants as something positive. ... [F]or by original sin we mean ... something negative, viz., this only, the deprivation of that supernatural unmerited grace which Adam and Eve had on their first formation,—deprivation and the consequences of deprivation."

To put it as clearly as I can, Catholics believe that all human beings are born into a condition of spiritual death and alienation from God--hence the need for regeneration in the Holy Spirit through the sacrament of Holy Baptism.  How this significantly differs from the classical Orthodox understanding I have not been able to figure out.   
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« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2010, 01:14:32 AM »

Quote
As to how Catholics have traditionally understood original sin since the Council of Trent, I refer you to the Catholic Encyclopedia article on original sin.  Read this article carefully and you will discover that Catholics understand original sin as the privation of sanctifying grace.  Or as Cardinal Newman explained to the Anglican Edward Pusey:  "We, with the Fathers, think of it as something negative, Protestants as something positive. ... [F]or by original sin we mean ... something negative, viz., this only, the deprivation of that supernatural unmerited grace which Adam and Eve had on their first formation,—deprivation and the consequences of deprivation."

Fr. Kimel, by "privation" do you mean that God actively removed sanctifying grace from us? Because from what I've read in Fr. Michael Pomazansky's Orthodox Dogmatic Theology, the Orthodox understanding is that the ancestral/original sin disabled our ability to receive divine grace, but that God never took it away. The end result is the same: we lose sanctifying grace according to both traditions. But if the Catholic tradition considers grace to be literally withheld, then there is a subtle but real difference.
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« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2010, 02:00:44 AM »

/\  Fr Michael Pomazansky says:

".... the wrath of God was expressed in the removal of the supernatural gifts of God's grace"

and he also says:

"After his first fall, man himself departed in soul from God and became unreceptive to the grace of God which was opened to him..."

Btw, as far as I know the concept of "sanctifying grace" is not found in Pomazansky....  but maybe I am wrong about that? 

Because of Western terminology we tend to take the term for granted but I am not sure if the term is used in Russian theology, at least not with the equivalent meaning it has in Western theology?

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« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2010, 01:16:04 PM »

Btw, as far as I know the concept of "sanctifying grace" is not found in Pomazansky....  but maybe I am wrong about that?

Father, bless. You are correct: Fr. Michael does not refer to sanctifying grace but only to "Grace." The concept of sanctifying grace is mentioned in the footnotes, but even there it is used only in reference to the Latin doctrine.

By the way, the relevant discussion of Original Sin can be found in pages 162-169 of the English version of Orthodox Dogmatic Theology.
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« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2010, 02:48:20 PM »

/\  Fr Michael Pomazansky says:

".... the wrath of God was expressed in the removal of the supernatural gifts of God's grace"

and he also says:

"After his first fall, man himself departed in soul from God and became unreceptive to the grace of God which was opened to him..."

Btw, as far as I know the concept of "sanctifying grace" is not found in Pomazansky....  but maybe I am wrong about that? 

Because of Western terminology we tend to take the term for granted but I am not sure if the term is used in Russian theology, at least not with the equivalent meaning it has in Western theology?


Yes, Father.  The language of privation is there not to express the fact that God withdraws from us, but the fact that we withdraw from Him and erect barriers.  It is expressive of the fact of the privation, not the cause by which we are deprived.

Sanctifying grace is simply the grace that the desert fathers talk about that is different from the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit...those things we pray for daily such as patience or strength or prudence...grace that is different from the grace that animates us and allows us to simply exist.  Sanctifying grace is that grace which unites us in participation with the divine life and makes us holy.

M.
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« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2010, 06:37:28 PM »

/\  Fr Michael Pomazansky says:

".... the wrath of God was expressed in the removal of the supernatural gifts of God's grace"

and he also says:

"After his first fall, man himself departed in soul from God and became unreceptive to the grace of God which was opened to him..."

Btw, as far as I know the concept of "sanctifying grace" is not found in Pomazansky....  but maybe I am wrong about that? 

Because of Western terminology we tend to take the term for granted but I am not sure if the term is used in Russian theology, at least not with the equivalent meaning it has in Western theology?


Yes, Father.  The language of privation is there not to express the fact that God withdraws from us, but the fact that we withdraw from Him and erect barriers.  It is expressive of the fact of the privation, not the cause by which we are deprived.

Sanctifying grace is simply the grace that the desert fathers talk about that is different from the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit...those things we pray for daily such as patience or strength or prudence...grace that is different from the grace that animates us and allows us to simply exist.  Sanctifying grace is that grace which unites us in participation with the divine life and makes us holy.

M.

I have learnt from my meagre studies of Catholicism that sanctifying grace is the Holy Spirit.  Is this the correct understanding?

In Orthodoxy grace is uncreated and one of God's energies which is the same as saying it is God Himself.  If grace were a created thing it would be impossible for it to bring about theosis and union with the uncreated God.
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« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2010, 07:52:27 PM »

/\  Fr Michael Pomazansky says:

".... the wrath of God was expressed in the removal of the supernatural gifts of God's grace"

and he also says:

"After his first fall, man himself departed in soul from God and became unreceptive to the grace of God which was opened to him..."

Btw, as far as I know the concept of "sanctifying grace" is not found in Pomazansky....  but maybe I am wrong about that? 

Because of Western terminology we tend to take the term for granted but I am not sure if the term is used in Russian theology, at least not with the equivalent meaning it has in Western theology?


Yes, Father.  The language of privation is there not to express the fact that God withdraws from us, but the fact that we withdraw from Him and erect barriers.  It is expressive of the fact of the privation, not the cause by which we are deprived.

Sanctifying grace is simply the grace that the desert fathers talk about that is different from the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit...those things we pray for daily such as patience or strength or prudence...grace that is different from the grace that animates us and allows us to simply exist.  Sanctifying grace is that grace which unites us in participation with the divine life and makes us holy.

M.

I have learnt from my meagre studies of Catholicism that sanctifying grace is the Holy Spirit.  Is this the correct understanding?

In Orthodoxy grace is uncreated and one of God's energies which is the same as saying it is God Himself.  If grace were a created thing it would be impossible for it to bring about theosis and union with the uncreated God.

Created grace is a somewhat unfortunate shorthand to come out of a much more clear and clearly defined teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, who did not speak in terms of "created" grace...and that is the only reference I am using here and the one I know from my formation in Carmel and my years catechizing for the rites of Christian Initiation, so I am not trying to speak for every theologian since the Cappadicians.  Just very simply what I know in plain words.

St. Thomas taught that, in Baptism, the grace of the Holy Spirit penetrates the soul of the person and regenerates the soul and returns it to the image and likeness of God.  This regeneration is permanent and so it only ever happens once in the life time of a person, and it changes them in an ontological way that uniquely allows, the Holy Spirit, through the laying on of hands or chrismation,  to rest in soul forever more...the Indwelling.

That is what is referred to as created grace...that regeneration of the soul...and because the soul remains a creature's soul,  from that observation comes the short-hand...created grace.

I will say as a closing comment that in what I have learned over time, St. Gregory and St. Thomas are much closer in terms of their understanding of grace than I believe most people are aware of, but that is all I can say for the moment.

I will happily wait till our best and brightest can sort it all out.

M.


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« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2010, 11:04:37 AM »

In his book Via Media Eric Mascall briefly compares the Thomist understanding of grace with the Palamite understanding.  "For the Thomist," Mascall writes, "grace means a communication of the Creator to the creature in the created mode under which alone a creature can receive anything; for the Palamite, it means a communication of the uncreated energy of God, though not of his incommunicable essence."  Mascall then offers a conversation between a Thomist and a Palamite (rumor says it was based on a conversation between Lossky and Mascall hiimself):

Palamite:  "You make no distinction between the essence of God and his energy and you say that God gives himself to the creature in a finite mode.  On your showing, this must mean that the divine essence is given in a finite mode, and this is plainly impossible.  Either what is given is finite, in which case it cannot be God, or what is given is God, in which case it cannot be given finitely.  In the former case there is no real deification of man; in the latter case man ceases to be a creature.  Neither alternative is admissible, so your theory must be false."

Thomist: "The whole matter is, of course, a profound mystery, but you have not been fair to my thought.  I did not mean that God-in-a-finite-mode was given to the creature, but that God was received by the creature in a finite mode.  The finitude is in the mode of participation, not in the object participated.  And here is a dilemma for you, in return for that on which you tried to impale me.  You say that the creature participates in the divine energy, though not in the divine essence.  Now listen.  Either the energy and the essence are identical, ,or else in participating in the energy the creature does not really participate in God.  In the former case your own theory is false, in the latter it fails to provide for a real deification of man."

Palamite:  "No, now it is you who are being unfair to me.  The energy is divine, and therefore in participating in the divine energy the creature participates in God.  God is present, really present, in his energy as much as in his essence.  The only difference is that the energy is communicable and the essence is not.  Thus God is really communicated in his energy, though he remains incommunicable in his essence."

Thomist:  "Really, this is intolerable.  God and his essence cannot be separated.  If the energy communicates God it communicates his essence.  And then you need my theory to explain how the creature can participate in God without losing its creatureliness."

The Eastern concern is to insist that the human creature really does participate in God.  The Western concern is to understand how it is that the human creature can participate in God without ceasing to be a creature.  These concerns are not mutually incompatible.

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« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2010, 12:19:53 PM »

Couple of questions:  Is either Mascall or Lossky a trained Thomist?  I have never seen either name on a reading list for any classical Thomistic course I've ever taken?   What qualifies them to argue with classical Thomists?  What books are there that recount these discussions if there are any between either Mascall or Lossky and recognized Thomistic scholars?

Mary

In his book Via Media Eric Mascall briefly compares the Thomist understanding of grace with the Palamite understanding.  "For the Thomist," Mascall writes, "grace means a communication of the Creator to the creature in the created mode under which alone a creature can receive anything; for the Palamite, it means a communication of the uncreated energy of God, though not of his incommunicable essence."  Mascall then offers a conversation between a Thomist and a Palamite (rumor says it was based on a conversation between Lossky and Mascall hiimself):

Palamite:  "You make no distinction between the essence of God and his energy and you say that God gives himself to the creature in a finite mode.  On your showing, this must mean that the divine essence is given in a finite mode, and this is plainly impossible.  Either what is given is finite, in which case it cannot be God, or what is given is God, in which case it cannot be given finitely.  In the former case there is no real deification of man; in the latter case man ceases to be a creature.  Neither alternative is admissible, so your theory must be false."

Thomist: "The whole matter is, of course, a profound mystery, but you have not been fair to my thought.  I did not mean that God-in-a-finite-mode was given to the creature, but that God was received by the creature in a finite mode.  The finitude is in the mode of participation, not in the object participated.  And here is a dilemma for you, in return for that on which you tried to impale me.  You say that the creature participates in the divine energy, though not in the divine essence.  Now listen.  Either the energy and the essence are identical, ,or else in participating in the energy the creature does not really participate in God.  In the former case your own theory is false, in the latter it fails to provide for a real deification of man."

Palamite:  "No, now it is you who are being unfair to me.  The energy is divine, and therefore in participating in the divine energy the creature participates in God.  God is present, really present, in his energy as much as in his essence.  The only difference is that the energy is communicable and the essence is not.  Thus God is really communicated in his energy, though he remains incommunicable in his essence."

Thomist:  "Really, this is intolerable.  God and his essence cannot be separated.  If the energy communicates God it communicates his essence.  And then you need my theory to explain how the creature can participate in God without losing its creatureliness."

The Eastern concern is to insist that the human creature really does participate in God.  The Western concern is to understand how it is that the human creature can participate in God without ceasing to be a creature.  These concerns are not mutually incompatible.


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« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2010, 01:49:57 PM »

Vladimir Lossky would be the Palamite, Mascall was an Anglo Catholic Thomist.
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« Reply #31 on: June 05, 2010, 02:57:19 PM »

Vladimir Lossky would be the Palamite, Mascall was an Anglo Catholic Thomist.

Yes.  I know.  Eric Mascall is a an Anglo-Thomist whom I have never seen mentioned formally as a resource among Catholics who are classically trained Thomists.  In other words it is not always the case that a Thomist is a Thomist is a Thomist.  V. Lossky has many good things to say, but he should have stayed clear of St. Thomas if he was not going to work seriously and deeply.

So the imagined dialogue does not look at the whole of St. Thomas, and by not doing so misses the fullness of the historical texts which may indeed demonstrate that, philosophically and theologically, St. Thomas and St. Gregory may well be more alike than they are different.  Also I think there is the opposite expectation that St. Gregory missed the boat when it comes to accounting for the fact that the energies cannot be dissected from the essence.  That would not be fully accurate an assumption either.

M.
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« Reply #32 on: June 05, 2010, 06:29:13 PM »

Couple of questions:  Is either Mascall or Lossky a trained Thomist?

Mascall was a respected neo-Thomist of the 20th century.  He wrote numerous books, his two most famous being He Who Is and Existence and Analogy.  He also gave the 1970-71 Gifford Lectures, subsequently published under the title The Openness of Being. My favorite Mascall books are Christ, the Christian and the Church and The Importance of Being Human.   

Quote
I have never seen either name on a reading list for any classical Thomistic course I've ever taken?

To which the only proper answer is, so what?   

Quote
What qualifies them to argue with classical Thomists?

Hmmm, what a curious question.  Where is Mascall arguing with a classical Thomist?  He certainly would have considered himself as standing with both feet in the Summa Theologica.  If you think that Mascall has somehow misrepresented the Thomistic understanding of grace (is there only one Thomistic understanding of grace?), then by all means engage the text.  This resort to ad hominem argument is unconstructive.

As far as Vladimir Lossky's acquaintance with Western theology, others will have to answer, but I do know that he wrote his thesis on Meister Eckhart and was good friends with Etienne Gilson. 

In any case, the fictional dialogue I cited was not intended to prove much but only to show how easy it is for Thomists (of whatever stripe) and Palamites (of whatever stripe) to misunderstand each other.  Mascall himself engaged in lengthy dialogue with Orthodox theologians over a period of many decades and was editor for ten years of the journal Sobornost.  He appears to have striven hard to understand the Orthodox distinction between the divine essence and energies.  In his memoirs Mascalls speaks of his long conversation with Lossky on sanctifying grace, "at the end of which Vladimir remained as convinced of the incoherence and inadequacy of the Western concept of the created supernatural as I was of the unintelligibility of the Eastern distinction between the divine essence and energies.  And yet he was ready and anxious to assert that he and I were both trying to assert in the limited and halting terms of human speech the same mysterious and inexhaustible reality, namely, the participation by a creature in the life of the Holy Trinity without destruction of its creaturely status."

Norman Russell devotes two pages of his book The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition to Mascall's presentation of theosis.

Mascall is a theologian well worth reading, no matter what Church to which one belongs. 


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« Reply #33 on: June 05, 2010, 07:32:37 PM »

Without full engagement there's not too much more I can contribute:

Except to say that the Dominican friars who taught me the Thomistic nuances of nature and grace are not much impressed with the direction of thought represented by Rev. Mascall and others, including Father Rahner's solution to the nature/grace conundrum.   So I, naturally, carry their classical points of view throughout, primarily because they are closest to the St. Thomas who was not distorted by the later scholastics.   

That does not mean I think that the theologians you prefer are a total waste.  That would be absurd because they are not at all inconsequential. 

It does mean that I think they are insufficient to the particular task of bringing St. Thomas and St. Gregory closer together.

I said earlier all that I need to say about sanctifying grace in terms of the way the Catholic Church formally understands it, in simple words that anyone can at least begin to grasp conceptually.

Beyond that, in this environment, I would want someone else with me, similarly schooled, to support and confirm whatever I might say.  Stan from Irenikon is the closest person that I know of and he would not come here to discuss.  Ghosty might be another but he is not as advanced as Stan is in this particular area.

If I see other places where I might contribute I will but I won't engage nor will I endorse a set of assertions that set St. Thomas against St. Gregory.  It is not faithful to either one of them, in my opinion, and is an over-simplification of both of them.

Mary

Couple of questions:  Is either Mascall or Lossky a trained Thomist?

Mascall was a respected neo-Thomist of the 20th century.  He wrote numerous books, his two most famous being He Who Is and Existence and Analogy.  He also gave the 1970-71 Gifford Lectures, subsequently published under the title The Openness of Being. My favorite Mascall books are Christ, the Christian and the Church and The Importance of Being Human.   

Quote
I have never seen either name on a reading list for any classical Thomistic course I've ever taken?

To which the only proper answer is, so what?   

Quote
What qualifies them to argue with classical Thomists?

Hmmm, what a curious question.  Where is Mascall arguing with a classical Thomist?  He certainly would have considered himself as standing with both feet in the Summa Theologica.  If you think that Mascall has somehow misrepresented the Thomistic understanding of grace (is there only one Thomistic understanding of grace?), then by all means engage the text.  This resort to ad hominem argument is unconstructive.

As far as Vladimir Lossky's acquaintance with Western theology, others will have to answer, but I do know that he wrote his thesis on Meister Eckhart and was good friends with Etienne Gilson. 

In any case, the fictional dialogue I cited was not intended to prove much but only to show how easy it is for Thomists (of whatever stripe) and Palamites (of whatever stripe) to misunderstand each other.  Mascall himself engaged in lengthy dialogue with Orthodox theologians over a period of many decades and was editor for ten years of the journal Sobornost.  He appears to have striven hard to understand the Orthodox distinction between the divine essence and energies.  In his memoirs Mascalls speaks of his long conversation with Lossky on sanctifying grace, "at the end of which Vladimir remained as convinced of the incoherence and inadequacy of the Western concept of the created supernatural as I was of the unintelligibility of the Eastern distinction between the divine essence and energies.  And yet he was ready and anxious to assert that he and I were both trying to assert in the limited and halting terms of human speech the same mysterious and inexhaustible reality, namely, the participation by a creature in the life of the Holy Trinity without destruction of its creaturely status."

Norman Russell devotes two pages of his book The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition to Mascall's presentation of theosis.

Mascall is a theologian well worth reading, no matter what Church to which one belongs. 



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« Reply #34 on: November 19, 2010, 10:17:38 PM »


Quote
I am telling you that they are NOT separate in Catholic teaching.  If you would like to separate them, I don't mind at all.  But please do not attribute that to Catholic teaching...ok?

You are wrong.

CCC 375: The Church, interpreting the symbolism of biblical language in an authentic way, in the light of the New Testament and Tradition, teaches that our first parents, Adam and Eve, were constituted in an original "state of holiness and justice." This grace of original holiness was "to share in . . . divine life."

CCC 376: By the radiance of this grace all dimensions of man's life were confirmed. As long as he remained in the divine intimacy, man would not have to suffer or die.252 The inner harmony of the human person, the harmony between man and woman,253 and finally the harmony between the first couple and all creation, comprised the state called "original justice."

CCC 399: Scripture portrays the tragic consequences of this first disobedience. Adam and Eve immediately lose the grace of original holiness. They become afraid of the God of whom they have conceived a distorted image—that of a God jealous of his prerogatives.

CCC 400: The harmony in which they had found themselves, thanks to original justice, is now destroyed: the control of the soul's spiritual faculties over the body is shattered; the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions, their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination. Harmony with creation is broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man. Because of man, creation is now subject "to its bondage to decay." Finally, the consequence explicitly foretold for this disobedience will come true: man will "return to the ground," for out of it he was taken. Death makes its entrance into human history.
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« Reply #35 on: November 19, 2010, 10:33:05 PM »


Quote
I am telling you that they are NOT separate in Catholic teaching.  If you would like to separate them, I don't mind at all.  But please do not attribute that to Catholic teaching...ok?

You are wrong.

CCC 375: The Church, interpreting the symbolism of biblical language in an authentic way, in the light of the New Testament and Tradition, teaches that our first parents, Adam and Eve, were constituted in an original "state of holiness and justice." This grace of original holiness was "to share in . . . divine life."

CCC 376: By the radiance of this grace all dimensions of man's life were confirmed. As long as he remained in the divine intimacy, man would not have to suffer or die.252 The inner harmony of the human person, the harmony between man and woman,253 and finally the harmony between the first couple and all creation, comprised the state called "original justice."

CCC 399: Scripture portrays the tragic consequences of this first disobedience. Adam and Eve immediately lose the grace of original holiness. They become afraid of the God of whom they have conceived a distorted image—that of a God jealous of his prerogatives.

CCC 400: The harmony in which they had found themselves, thanks to original justice, is now destroyed: the control of the soul's spiritual faculties over the body is shattered; the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions, their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination. Harmony with creation is broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man. Because of man, creation is now subject "to its bondage to decay." Finally, the consequence explicitly foretold for this disobedience will come true: man will "return to the ground," for out of it he was taken. Death makes its entrance into human history.

The concept is the same. The words and angle of attack is different. 

I think you're trying to find something that isn't there.
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« Reply #36 on: November 19, 2010, 10:36:49 PM »


Quote
I am telling you that they are NOT separate in Catholic teaching.  If you would like to separate them, I don't mind at all.  But please do not attribute that to Catholic teaching...ok?

You are wrong.

CCC 375: The Church, interpreting the symbolism of biblical language in an authentic way, in the light of the New Testament and Tradition, teaches that our first parents, Adam and Eve, were constituted in an original "state of holiness and justice." This grace of original holiness was "to share in . . . divine life."

CCC 376: By the radiance of this grace all dimensions of man's life were confirmed. As long as he remained in the divine intimacy, man would not have to suffer or die.252 The inner harmony of the human person, the harmony between man and woman,253 and finally the harmony between the first couple and all creation, comprised the state called "original justice."

CCC 399: Scripture portrays the tragic consequences of this first disobedience. Adam and Eve immediately lose the grace of original holiness. They become afraid of the God of whom they have conceived a distorted image—that of a God jealous of his prerogatives.

CCC 400: The harmony in which they had found themselves, thanks to original justice, is now destroyed: the control of the soul's spiritual faculties over the body is shattered; the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions, their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination. Harmony with creation is broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man. Because of man, creation is now subject "to its bondage to decay." Finally, the consequence explicitly foretold for this disobedience will come true: man will "return to the ground," for out of it he was taken. Death makes its entrance into human history.

The concept is the same. The words and angle of attack is different. 

I think you're trying to find something that isn't there.

I'm lost.  What are we proving this time with this cut and paste?
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« Reply #37 on: November 19, 2010, 11:15:27 PM »


The concept is the same. The words and angle of attack is different. 

I think you're trying to find something that isn't there.

I'm lost.  What are we proving this time with this cut and paste?



Basically, doesn't Orthodox believe we inherit the Consequences of the original sin but not the guilt? and the RCC believe we receive both?

It's not that simple. I wouldn't characterize either position exactly that way. Basically the Eastern position is that humanity collectively lost original holiness as a result of Adam's first sin, and we are all born lacking original holiness and the corruptions that follow it, whereas the Westerners will go somewhat further and say that we are collectively "implicated in" Adam's sin because we were all "in Adam".

This is a distinction without a difference actually, but I expect we could talk about it in those terms as long as one understands the implication, blemish or stain to BE the loss of original sanctification or justice.

Did I say anything about a loss of justice? I rarely hear of Eastern writings speaking of ancestral sin involving a loss of original justice instead of simply a loss of original holiness.

Quite.

Original justice IS original holiness IS original sanctification

M.

If justification and sanctification are two distinct issues, then justice and holiness are two distinct issues, and thus original justice and original holiness are two distinct, while perhaps overlapping and connected, realities.
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« Reply #38 on: November 20, 2010, 12:24:35 AM »

I believe a key cause of the Original Sin issue is the interpretation of the verse Romans 5:12:
Quote
Dia touto hosper di' henos anthropou he hamartia eis ton kosmon eiselthen kai dia dia tes hamartias ho thanatos, kai houtos eis pantas anthropous ho thanatos dielthen, eph' ho pantes hemarton

δια τουτο ωσπερ δι ενος ανθρωπου η αμαρτια εις τον κοσμον εισηλθεν και δια της αμαρτιας ο θανατος και ουτως εις παντας ανθρωπους ο θανατος διηλθεν εφ ω παντες ημαρτον

This is a verse that I have never ever seen translated accurately, except by the Orthodox New Testament, by Holy Apostles Convent. Here are some different versions of this verse:

Vulgate:
Quote
Propterea sicut per unum hominem in hunc mundum peccatum intravit et per peccatum mors et ita in omnes homines mors pertransiit in quo omnes peccaverunt

Modern English translations usually get it something like this:
Quote
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned

The patristic rendering of the verse is:
Quote
Therefore, just as through one man sin came into the world, and through sin [or, the sin] death, and thus death passed through to all men, on account of which all sinned. (My translation; Holy Apostles Convent also says "on account of which.")

The phrase "eph' ho/in quo" was mistakenly taken to mean "in whom" (i.e. in Adam) in the Latin tradition, hence we all sinned "in Adam."

However, the very ambiguous preposition "epi" literally means "on," and by extension, it often means "because of." The relative pronoun's antecedent is death, not Adam. Technically, it is ambiguous, but it would have to refer all the way back to the beginning of the sentence to be indicating Adam.

Let's look at some historical interpretations of this verse.

Thomas Aquinas, from Summa:
Quote
The Apostle says (Rom. 5:12): "Death passed upon all men in whom all have sinned."

I answer that, According to the Catholic Faith we must firmly believe that, Christ alone excepted, all men descended from Adam contract original sin from him; else all would not need redemption [*Cf. Translator's note inserted before TP, Q[27]] which is through Christ; and this is erroneous. The reason for this may be gathered from what has been stated (A[1]), viz. that original sin, in virtue of the sin of our first parent, is transmitted to his posterity, just as, from the soul's will, actual sin is transmitted to the members of the body, through their being moved by the will. Now it is evident that actual sin can be transmitted to all such members as have an inborn aptitude to be moved by the will. Therefore original sin is transmitted to all those who are moved by Adam by the movement of generation.

Reply to Objection 1: It is held with greater probability and more commonly that all those that are alive at the coming of our Lord, will die, and rise again shortly, as we shall state more fully in the TP (XP, Q[78], A[1], OBJ[1]). If, however, it be true, as others hold, that they will never die, (an opinion which Jerome mentions among others in a letter to Minerius, on the Resurrection of the Body---Ep. cxix), then we must say in reply to the objection, that although they are not to die, the debt of death is none the less in them, and that the punishment of death will be remitted by God, since He can also forgive the punishment due for actual sins.

Reply to Objection 1: Original sin is taken away by Baptism as to the guilt, in so far as the soul recovers grace as regards the mind. Nevertheless original sin remains in its effect as regards the "fomes," which is the disorder of the lower parts of the soul and of the body itself, in respect of which, and not of the mind, man exercises his power of generation. Consequently those who are baptized transmit original sin: since they do not beget as being renewed in Baptism, but as still retaining something of the oldness of the first sin.

Reply to Objection 3: Just as Adam's sin is transmitted to all who are born of Adam corporally, so is the grace of Christ transmitted to all that are begotten of Him spiritually, by faith and Baptism: and this, not only unto the removal of sin of their first parent, but also unto the removal of actual sins, and the obtaining of glory.
--Summa, part I, question 81, article 3.
***
This interpretation is a little different from that of St. Augustine, whose commentary on Romans I unfortunately cannot find online. However, here is a link where you can find his interpretation of it: http://books.google.com/books?id=zJh2iwKAdYYC&printsec=frontcover&dq=augustine%27s+commentary+on+romans&source=bl&ots=7At796sio2&sig=eef8EJ4aDzcQMZJklq_cFkoNnkg&hl=de&ei=8ETnTKrMOIW8lQfmsaHxCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CFQQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q&f=false

Just for fun, John Calvin:
Quote
Sin entered into the world, etc. Observe the order which he keeps here; for he says, that sin preceded, and that from sin death followed. There are indeed some who contend, that we are so lost through Adam’s sin, as though we perished through no fault of our own, but only, because he had sinned for us. But Paul distinctly affirms, that sin extends to all who suffer its punishment: and this he afterwards more fully declares, when subsequently he assigns a reason why all the posterity of Adam are subject to the dominion of death; and it is even this — because we have all, he says, sinned. But to sin in this case, is to become corrupt and vicious; for the natural depravity which we bring, from our mother’s womb, though it brings not forth immediately its own fruits, is yet sin before God, and deserves his vengeance: and this is that sin which they call original.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom38.ix.vi.html

Apparently, St. Augustine and Calvin follow the "because all sinned" interpretation, although they still disagree as to the doctrine itself. (IMO, Calvin's interpretation that all men deserve condemnation for actual sins, thus justifying condemnation for Original Sin, is a cop-out for having to explain injustice in God.)

Now, St. John Chrysostom:
Quote
How then did death come in and prevail? “Through the sin of one.” But what means, “for that all have sinned?” This: he having once fallen, even they that had not eaten of the tree did from him, all of them, become mortal.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf111.vii.xii.html

St. John emphasizes the inheritance of mortality. Why mortality leads to sin he does not explain. (It's typical of him to bypass the theological issue and hurry towards the verses most pertinent to a layman.)

This view fits in uncannily well with the Eastern emphasis on humanity's dual enslavement to sin and death, the inseperability of sin and death, and the fact that Christ saved us by abolishing the two. See Hebrews 2:14-15:

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
***

I apologize for a really dry post, but hopefully it will help clarify the discussion, and add some more substance to it.

Rufus
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« Reply #39 on: November 20, 2010, 01:31:59 AM »

Quote
The concept is the same. The words and angle of attack is different. 

I think you're trying to find something that isn't there.

Nah, the distinction serves a definite purpose, otherwise there wouldn't be a need to maintain it and speak of the terms separately. The distinction is there and I am merely pointing it out, actually.
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« Reply #40 on: November 20, 2010, 01:35:44 AM »

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I'm lost.  What are we proving this time with this cut and paste?

There is a distinction between original holiness and original justice. The understanding of this along and the understanding of grace differ in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox views.
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« Reply #41 on: November 20, 2010, 10:17:48 AM »

I believe a key cause of the Original Sin issue is the interpretation of the verse Romans 5:12:
Quote
Dia touto hosper di' henos anthropou he hamartia eis ton kosmon eiselthen kai dia dia tes hamartias ho thanatos, kai houtos eis pantas anthropous ho thanatos dielthen, eph' ho pantes hemarton

δια τουτο ωσπερ δι ενος ανθρωπου η αμαρτια εις τον κοσμον εισηλθεν και δια της αμαρτιας ο θανατος και ουτως εις παντας ανθρωπους ο θανατος διηλθεν εφ ω παντες ημαρτον

This is a verse that I have never ever seen translated accurately, except by the Orthodox New Testament, by Holy Apostles Convent. Here are some different versions of this verse:

Vulgate:
Quote
Propterea sicut per unum hominem in hunc mundum peccatum intravit et per peccatum mors et ita in omnes homines mors pertransiit in quo omnes peccaverunt

Modern English translations usually get it something like this:
Quote
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned

The patristic rendering of the verse is:
Quote
Therefore, just as through one man sin came into the world, and through sin [or, the sin] death, and thus death passed through to all men, on account of which all sinned. (My translation; Holy Apostles Convent also says "on account of which.")

The phrase "eph' ho/in quo" was mistakenly taken to mean "in whom" (i.e. in Adam) in the Latin tradition, hence we all sinned "in Adam."

However, the very ambiguous preposition "epi" literally means "on," and by extension, it often means "because of." The relative pronoun's antecedent is death, not Adam. Technically, it is ambiguous, but it would have to refer all the way back to the beginning of the sentence to be indicating Adam.

Let's look at some historical interpretations of this verse.

Thomas Aquinas, from Summa:
Quote
The Apostle says (Rom. 5:12): "Death passed upon all men in whom all have sinned."

I answer that, According to the Catholic Faith we must firmly believe that, Christ alone excepted, all men descended from Adam contract original sin from him; else all would not need redemption [*Cf. Translator's note inserted before TP, Q[27]] which is through Christ; and this is erroneous. The reason for this may be gathered from what has been stated (A[1]), viz. that original sin, in virtue of the sin of our first parent, is transmitted to his posterity, just as, from the soul's will, actual sin is transmitted to the members of the body, through their being moved by the will. Now it is evident that actual sin can be transmitted to all such members as have an inborn aptitude to be moved by the will. Therefore original sin is transmitted to all those who are moved by Adam by the movement of generation.

Reply to Objection 1: It is held with greater probability and more commonly that all those that are alive at the coming of our Lord, will die, and rise again shortly, as we shall state more fully in the TP (XP, Q[78], A[1], OBJ[1]). If, however, it be true, as others hold, that they will never die, (an opinion which Jerome mentions among others in a letter to Minerius, on the Resurrection of the Body---Ep. cxix), then we must say in reply to the objection, that although they are not to die, the debt of death is none the less in them, and that the punishment of death will be remitted by God, since He can also forgive the punishment due for actual sins.

Reply to Objection 1: Original sin is taken away by Baptism as to the guilt, in so far as the soul recovers grace as regards the mind. Nevertheless original sin remains in its effect as regards the "fomes," which is the disorder of the lower parts of the soul and of the body itself, in respect of which, and not of the mind, man exercises his power of generation. Consequently those who are baptized transmit original sin: since they do not beget as being renewed in Baptism, but as still retaining something of the oldness of the first sin.

Reply to Objection 3: Just as Adam's sin is transmitted to all who are born of Adam corporally, so is the grace of Christ transmitted to all that are begotten of Him spiritually, by faith and Baptism: and this, not only unto the removal of sin of their first parent, but also unto the removal of actual sins, and the obtaining of glory.
--Summa, part I, question 81, article 3.
***
This interpretation is a little different from that of St. Augustine, whose commentary on Romans I unfortunately cannot find online. However, here is a link where you can find his interpretation of it: http://books.google.com/books?id=zJh2iwKAdYYC&printsec=frontcover&dq=augustine%27s+commentary+on+romans&source=bl&ots=7At796sio2&sig=eef8EJ4aDzcQMZJklq_cFkoNnkg&hl=de&ei=8ETnTKrMOIW8lQfmsaHxCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CFQQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q&f=false

Just for fun, John Calvin:
Quote
Sin entered into the world, etc. Observe the order which he keeps here; for he says, that sin preceded, and that from sin death followed. There are indeed some who contend, that we are so lost through Adam’s sin, as though we perished through no fault of our own, but only, because he had sinned for us. But Paul distinctly affirms, that sin extends to all who suffer its punishment: and this he afterwards more fully declares, when subsequently he assigns a reason why all the posterity of Adam are subject to the dominion of death; and it is even this — because we have all, he says, sinned. But to sin in this case, is to become corrupt and vicious; for the natural depravity which we bring, from our mother’s womb, though it brings not forth immediately its own fruits, is yet sin before God, and deserves his vengeance: and this is that sin which they call original.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom38.ix.vi.html

Apparently, St. Augustine and Calvin follow the "because all sinned" interpretation, although they still disagree as to the doctrine itself. (IMO, Calvin's interpretation that all men deserve condemnation for actual sins, thus justifying condemnation for Original Sin, is a cop-out for having to explain injustice in God.)

Now, St. John Chrysostom:
Quote
How then did death come in and prevail? “Through the sin of one.” But what means, “for that all have sinned?” This: he having once fallen, even they that had not eaten of the tree did from him, all of them, become mortal.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf111.vii.xii.html

St. John emphasizes the inheritance of mortality. Why mortality leads to sin he does not explain. (It's typical of him to bypass the theological issue and hurry towards the verses most pertinent to a layman.)

This view fits in uncannily well with the Eastern emphasis on humanity's dual enslavement to sin and death, the inseperability of sin and death, and the fact that Christ saved us by abolishing the two. See Hebrews 2:14-15:

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
***

I apologize for a really dry post, but hopefully it will help clarify the discussion, and add some more substance to it.

Rufus

And then you have Bishop Hilarion, in his catechetical text on Faith, teaching that it can be translated correctly either way, and it has more than one interpretation.  And he leaves it at that.

But the deal breaker is the Council of Carthage of 418 that speaks of washing away original sin in Baptism and that Council was ratified at Ephesus and Second Nicea.

So it appears that the Church has always understood that the laver of regeneration heals some part of the ancestral sin.

And no.  My Catholic Church never did teach that Adam's personal guilt is our personal guilt.
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« Reply #42 on: November 20, 2010, 10:38:20 AM »


But the deal breaker is the Council of Carthage of 418 that speaks of washing away original sin in Baptism and that Council was ratified at Ephesus and Second Nicea.

I  especially like Canon 17 of this Council which excommunicates anybody who makes an appeal to Rome.  Now there is a real deal breaker!   Cheesy laugh Wink

Can. 17 “If priests, deacons, and inferior clerics complain of a sentence of their own bishop, they shall, with the
consent of their bishop, have recourse to the neighboring bishops, who shall settle the dispute. If they desire to make
a further appeal, it must only be to their primates or to African Councils. But whoever appeals to a court on the other
side of the sea (Rome), may not again be received into communion by any one in Africa.”

Ratified by TWO Ecumenical Councils!!
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« Reply #43 on: November 20, 2010, 11:09:13 AM »


But the deal breaker is the Council of Carthage of 418 that speaks of washing away original sin in Baptism and that Council was ratified at Ephesus and Second Nicea.

I  especially like Canon 17 of this Council which excommunicates anybody who makes an appeal to Rome.  Now there is a real deal breaker!   Cheesy laugh Wink

Can. 17 “If priests, deacons, and inferior clerics complain of a sentence of their own bishop, they shall, with the
consent of their bishop, have recourse to the neighboring bishops, who shall settle the dispute. If they desire to make
a further appeal, it must only be to their primates or to African Councils. But whoever appeals to a court on the other
side of the sea (Rome), may not again be received into communion by any one in Africa.”

Ratified by TWO Ecumenical Councils!!


That's a rather wonderful and strong support of the Orthodox position since TWO Popes ratified the canon, at Ephesus and Nicea II,  which forbids appeals to Rome under pain of excommunication.
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elijahmaria
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« Reply #44 on: November 20, 2010, 11:16:20 AM »

This cut and paste is not only taken out of context it is off topic.

Do you see the lengths some Orthodox will go to derail any kind of fruitful dialogue.

Well...We expect these kinds of running disingenuous communiques from you.



But the deal breaker is the Council of Carthage of 418 that speaks of washing away original sin in Baptism and that Council was ratified at Ephesus and Second Nicea.

I  especially like Canon 17 of this Council which excommunicates anybody who makes an appeal to Rome.  Now there is a real deal breaker!   Cheesy laugh Wink

Can. 17 “If priests, deacons, and inferior clerics complain of a sentence of their own bishop, they shall, with the
consent of their bishop, have recourse to the neighboring bishops, who shall settle the dispute. If they desire to make
a further appeal, it must only be to their primates or to African Councils. But whoever appeals to a court on the other
side of the sea (Rome), may not again be received into communion by any one in Africa.”

Ratified by TWO Ecumenical Councils!!


That's a rather wonderful and strong support of the Orthodox position since TWO Popes ratified the canon, at Ephesus and Nicea II,  which forbids appeals to Rome under pain of excommunication.
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